NASA: SpaceCast Weekly, A New Source of Power for the Space Station, NASA ARSET, Expedition 64 In-Flight with MSNBC, Spacewalk, SpaceX: Starlink Mission, Starship | SN9 | High-Altitude Flight Test, and NASA – Image of the Day, Solar System and More

NASA: SpaceCast Weekly, A New Source of Power for the Space Station, NASA ARSET, Expedition 64 In-Flight with MSNBC, Spacewalk, SpaceX: Starlink Mission, Starship | SN9 | High-Altitude Flight Test, and NASA – Image of the DaySolar System and More

NASA: SpaceCast Weekly – February 5, 2021, Feb 5, 2021  NASA Video

NASA: A New Source of Power for the Space Station on This Week @NASA – February 5, 2021

NASA ARSET: Hyperspectral Data for Coastal and Ocean Systems, Part 3/3, Feb 3, 2021  NASA Video

NASA: Expedition 64 In-Flight with MSNBC – February 4, 2021, NASA Video

NASA: Spacewalk to Finish Battery Upgrades & Install Cameras on

The International Space Station, Streamed live on Feb 1, 2021

SpaceX: Starlink Mission, Streamed live on Feb 4, 2021 (1:20:58)

SpaceX: Starship | SN9 | High-Altitude Flight Test, Streamed live on Feb 2, 2021

NASA: LATEST IMAGES – Image of the DaySolar System and More

SpaceCast Weekly – February 5, 2021

Feb 5, 2021  NASA Video

SpaceCast Weekly is a NASA Television broadcast from the Johnson Space Center in Houston featuring stories about NASA’s work in human spaceflight, including the International Space Station and its crews and scientific research activities, and the development of Orion and the Space Launch System, the next generation American spacecraft being built to take humans farther into space than they’ve ever gone before.

A New Source of Power for the Space Station on This Week @NASA – February 5, 2021

Feb 5, 2021  NASA

A new source of power for the space station, targeting a second Green Run hot fire test, and another major boost for our Space Launch System rocket … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA! Download Link: https://images.nasa.gov/details-A%20N…

Expedition 64 Astronauts Speak with National Science Foundation – February 3, 2021

Feb 3, 2021  NASA Video

SPACE STATION CREW DISCUSSES LIFE IN SPACE WITH NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 64 Flight Engineers Kate Rubins and Victor Glover of NASA discussed research and other aspects of life in space during an in-flight conversation Feb. 3 with members of the National Science Foundation. Rubins, who is an epidemiologist, arrived on the station last October aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, while Glover flew to the station last November aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon “Resilience” vehicle.

NASA ARSET: Hyperspectral Data for Coastal and Ocean Systems, Part 3/3

Feb 3, 2021  NASA Video

Hyperspectral Data for Land and Coastal Systems Part 3: Hyperspectral Data for Coastal and Ocean Systems – Use of hyperspectral imaging for wetland vegetation communities – Use of hyperspectral for coastal shallow-water ecosystems – Use of hyperspectral for marine debris – Case study examples – Q&A You can access all training materials from this webinar series on the training webpage: https://appliedsciences.nasa.gov/join…? This training was created by NASA’s Applied Remote Sensing Training Program (ARSET). ARSET is a part of NASA’s Applied Science’s Capacity Building Program. Learn more about ARSET: appliedsciences.nasa.gov/arset

Expedition 64 In-Flight with MSNBC – February 4, 2021

Feb 4, 2021  NASA Video

SPACE STATION CREW MEMBER DISCUSSES LIFE IN SPACE WITH MSNBC Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Victor Glover of NASA discussed life and work on the outpost and his view of astronauts serving as role models during an in-flight interview Feb. 4 with MSNBC anchor Kendis Gibson. Glover, who is involved in a series of spacewalks outside the complex, arrived on the station last November aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon “Resilience” vehicle.

Spacewalk to Finish Battery Upgrades & Install Cameras on the International Space Station

Streamed live on Feb 1, 2021  NASA

Watch two spacewalkers at work outside the International Space Station! NASA astronauts Victor Glover and Michael Hopkins will exit the orbiting lab’s Quest airlock at about 7 a.m. EST, to complete tasks including battery maintenance and installing high definition cameras.   Live coverage on NASA Television begins at 5:30? a.m.. The spacewalk will officially begin once the duo set their spacesuits to battery power, and is scheduled to last approximately six-and-a-half hours.

License

Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)

Starlink Mission

Streamed live on Feb 4, 2021 (1:20:58)  SpaceX

SpaceX is targeting Thursday, February 4 for launch of 60 Starlink satellites from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The instantaneous window is at 1:19 a.m. EST, or 6:19? UTC. The Falcon 9 first stage rocket booster supporting this mission previously flew on four missions: the launches of GPS III Space Vehicle 03 and Turksat 5A and two Starlink missions. Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which will be located in the Atlantic Ocean. One half of Falcon 9’s fairing previously flew on the SAOCOM-1B mission, and the other previously flew in support of the GPS III Space Vehicle 03 mission.

Starship | SN9 | High-Altitude Flight Test

Streamed live on Feb 2, 2021  SpaceX

On Tuesday, February 2, Starship serial number 9 (SN9) completed SpaceX’s second high-altitude flight test of a Starship prototype from our site in Cameron County, Texas. Similar to the high-altitude flight test of Starship serial number 8 (SN8), SN9 was powered through ascent by three Raptor engines, each shutting down in sequence prior to the vehicle reaching apogee – approximately 10 kilometers in altitude. SN9 successfully performed a propellant transition to the internal header tanks, which hold landing propellant, before reorienting itself for reentry and a controlled aerodynamic descent. The Starship prototype descended under active aerodynamic control, accomplished by independent movement of two forward and two aft flaps on the vehicle. All four flaps are actuated by an onboard flight computer to control Starship’s attitude during flight and enable precise landing at the intended location. During the landing flip maneuver, one of the Raptor engines did not relight and caused SN9 to land at high speed and experience a RUD. These test flights are all about improving our understanding and development of a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo on long-duration, interplanetary flights and help humanity return to the Moon, and travel to Mars and beyond.

NASA: LATEST IMAGESImage of the DaySolar System

New Chandra observations have been used to make the first detection of X-ray emission from young stars with masses similar to our Sun outside our Milky Way galaxy. The Chandra observations of these low-mass stars were made of the region known as the “Wing” of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), one of the Milky Way’s closest galactic neighbors. In this composite image of the Wing the Chandra data is shown in purple, optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope is shown in red, green and blue and infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope is shown in red. Astronomers call all elements heavier than hydrogen and helium – that is, with more than two protons in the atom’s nucleus – “metals”. The Wing is a region known to have fewer metals compared to most areas within the Milky Way. The Chandra results imply that the young, metal-poor stars in NGC 602a produce X-rays in a manner similar to stars with much higher metal content found in the Orion cluster in our galaxy.

The tip of the “wing” of the Small Magellanic Cloud galaxy is dazzling in this 2013 view from NASA’s Great Observatories. The Small Magellanic Cloud, or SMC, is a small galaxy about 200,000 light-years way that orbits our own Milky Way spiral galaxy.

The colors represent wavelengths of light across a broad spectrum. X-rays from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory are shown in purple; visible-light from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is colored red, green and blue; and infrared observations from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope are also represented in red.

The spiral galaxy seen in the lower corner is actually behind this nebula. Other distant galaxies located hundreds of millions of light-years or more away can be seen sprinkled around the edge of the image.

The SMC is one of the Milky Way’s closest galactic neighbors. Even though it is a small, or so-called dwarf galaxy, the SMC is so bright that it is visible to the unaided eye from the Southern Hemisphere and near the equator. Many navigators, including Ferdinand Magellan who lends his name to the SMC, used it to help find their way across the oceans.

Modern astronomers are also interested in studying the SMC (and its cousin, the Large Magellanic Cloud), but for very different reasons. Because the SMC is so close and bright, it offers an opportunity to study phenomena that are difficult to examine in more distant galaxies. New Chandra data of the SMC have provided one such discovery: the first detection of X-ray emission from young stars, with masses similar to our sun, outside our Milky Way galaxy.

Image Credit: NASA/CXC/JPL-Caltech/STScI

Last Updated: Feb 5, 2021

Editor: Yvette Smith

Tags:  Image of the DaySolar System

Feb 5, 2021

Hubble Sees a Stellar Furnace

An orange glow radiates from the centre of NGC 1792, the heart of this stellar forge. Captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, this intimate view of NGC 1792 gives us some insight into this galactic powerhouse. The vast swathes of tell-tale blue seen throughout the galaxy indicate areas that are full of young, hot stars, and it is in the shades of orange, seen nearer the centre, that the older, cooler stars reside. Nestled in the constellation of Columba (The Dove), NGC 1792 is both a spiral galaxy, and a starburst galaxy. Within starburst galaxies, stars are forming at comparatively exorbitant rates. The rate of star formation can be more than 10 times faster in a starburst galaxy than in the Milky Way. When galaxies have a large resevoir of gas, like NGC 1792, these short lived starburst phases can be sparked by galactic events such as mergers and tidal interactions. One might think that these starburst galaxies would easily consume all of their gas in a large forming event. However, supernova explosions and intense stellar winds produced in these powerful starbursts can inject energy into the gas and disperse it. This halts the star formation before it can completely deplete the galaxy of all its fuel. Scientists are actively working to understand this complex interplay between the dynamics that drive and quench these fierce bursts of star formation.

Text credit: European Space Agency (ESA)
Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, J. Lee; Acknowledgement: Leo Shatz

Last Updated: Feb 5, 2021

Editor: Lynn Jenner

Tags:  GalaxiesGoddard Space Flight CenterHubble Space TelescopeUniverse

SOFIA takes off from Hamburg, Germany, following a heavy maintenance visit at Lufthansa Technik.

Feb 4, 2021

SOFIA Begins First Series of Science Flights From Germany

SOFIA takes off from Hamburg, Germany, following a heavy maintenance visit at Lufthansa Technik.

SOFIA taking off from Hamburg, Germany, after finishing heavy maintenance at Lufthansa Technik.

Credits: Alexander Golz

NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, will conduct its first ever series of science observations from Germany in February and March, 2021. Many of the observations seek to answer fundamental questions in astronomy, including how stars can transform galaxies and what is the origin of cosmic rays in the Milky Way galaxy.

SOFIA, a joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace Center, DLR, recently completed scheduled maintenance and telescope upgrades at Lufthansa Technik’s facility in Hamburg, Germany. Now, the observatory will take advantage of its proximity to science teams at the Max Planck Institute of Radio Astronomy in Bonn and the University of Cologne, which operate the instrument called German Receiver at Terahertz Frequencies, or GREAT, to conduct research flights from the Cologne Bonn Airport.

“We’re taking advantage of SOFIA’s ability to observe from almost anywhere in the world to conduct compelling astronomical investigations,” said Paul Hertz, director of astrophysics at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “This observing campaign from Germany is an excellent example of the cooperation between NASA and DLR that has been the strength of the SOFIA program for over 25 years.”

SOFIA regularly flies to Christchurch, New Zealand, to study objects only visible in the skies over the Southern Hemisphere, and completed one science flight from Germany in 2019. But this is the first time a multi-flight observing campaign will be conducted over European soil. Over the course of six weeks, SOFIA will conduct about 20 overnight research flights that will focus on high-priority observations, including several large programs that were rescheduled from spring 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With new COVID-19 safety procedures in place, SOFIA will use its GREAT instrument to search for signatures of celestial molecules, ions, and atoms that are key to unlocking some of the secrets of the universe.

The observations include:

How Stars Affect Their Surroundings   

In stellar nurseries like Cygnus X, newborn stars can destroy the clouds in which they’re born. Researchers will use SOFIA to create a map of ionized carbon, a gas the young stars are heating, to better understand this process. Ionized carbon’s chemical fingerprint can determine the speed of the gas at all positions across the celestial clouds. The signal is so strong that it reveals critical details that are otherwise hidden from view deep inside natal clouds. The data may also help explain the source of the mysterious bubble-like structures that were detected by the Herschel Space Observatory and Spitzer Space Telescope but have yet to be fully understood.

Searching for Clues About Cosmic Rays 

The team will search for gases that can reveal the presence of cosmic rays, highly energetic charged particles that stream through our Milky Way galaxy. When a hydrogen atom combines with another element, such as argon or oxygen, simple molecules called hydrides are formed, some of which can be used to find cosmic rays. While cosmic rays can be detected directly within our solar system, astronomers know much less about their presence elsewhere in space. By measuring the concentration of hydride molecules, SOFIA’s observations will help researchers understand how common cosmic rays are in different parts of our galaxy, providing clues about the origin of these mysterious particles.

Understanding the Evolution of The Cigar Galaxy, or M82 

SOFIA previously found that the Cigar galaxy’s powerful wind, driven by the galaxy’s high rate of star birth, is aligned along the magnetic field lines and transports a huge amount of material out of the galaxy. Now, researchers will study ionized carbon gas, which traces star formation, to learn how this intense star birth and wind are affecting the evolution of the galaxy.

About GREAT

SOFIA’s GREAT instrument works like a radio receiver. Scientists tune to the frequency of the molecule they’re searching for, like tuning an FM radio to the right station. The instrument can also look for changes in signals that provide insights into how stars affect their surroundings, similar to how a radar gun bounces a signal off a moving car to determine its speed.

About SOFIA

SOFIA is a joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace Center. NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley manages the SOFIA program, science, and mission operations in cooperation with the Universities Space Research Association, headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, and the German SOFIA Institute at the University of Stuttgart. The aircraft is maintained and operated by NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center Building 703, in Palmdale, California.

Media Contact: 

Elizabeth Landau
NASA Headquarters, Washington
202-358-0845
elizabeth.r.landau@nasa.gov 

Alison Hawkes
NASA Ames Research Center, Silicon Valley, Calif.
650-604-4789
alison.hawkes@nasa.gov 

Last Updated: Feb 4, 2021

Editor: Kassandra Bell

Tags:  Ames Research CenterSOFIAUniverse

Feb 4, 2021

RELEASE 21-013

NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for SPHEREx Astrophysics Mission

NASA’s Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) mission is targeted to launch in 2024. SPHEREx will help astronomers understand both how our universe evolved and how common are the ingredients for life in our galaxy’s planetary systems.

Credits: Caltech

NASA has selected Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, California, to provide launch services for the Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization, and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) mission. SPHEREx is a planned two-year astrophysics mission to survey the sky in the near-infrared light, which, though not visible to the human eye, serves as a powerful tool for answering cosmic questions involving the birth of the universe, and the subsequent development of galaxies.

It also will search for water and organic molecules – essentials for life as we know it – in regions where stars are born from gas and dust, known as stellar nurseries, as well as disks around stars where new planets could be forming. Astronomers will use the mission to gather data on more than 300 million galaxies, as well as more than 100 million stars in our own Milky Way galaxy.

The total cost for NASA to launch SPHEREx is approximately $98.8 million, which includes the launch service and other mission related costs.

The SPHEREx mission currently is targeted to launch as early as June 2024 on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex-4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

NASA’s Launch Services Program at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida will manage the SpaceX launch service. The mission, which is funded by the Astrophysics Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, is led by the Explorer’s Program at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California is responsible for the mission’s overall project management, systems engineering, integration, and testing and mission operations.

For more information about NASA programs and missions, visit:  http://www.nasa.gov

Joshua Finch
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1100
joshua.a.finch@nasa.gov

Patti Bielling
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
321-867-9284
patricia.a.bielling@nasa.gov

Last Updated: Feb 4, 2021

Editor: Sean Potter

Tags:  GalaxiesKennedy Space CenterUniverse

Feb 3, 2021

NASA, International Partners Assess Mission to Map Ice on Mars, Guide Science Priorities

NASA and three international partners have signed a statement of intent to advance a possible robotic Mars ice mapping mission, which could help identify abundant, accessible ice for future candidate landing sites on the Red Planet. The agencies have agreed to establish a joint concept team to assess mission potential, as well as partnership opportunities.

This artist illustration depicts four orbiters as part of the International Mars Ice Mapper (I-MIM) mission concept. Low and to the left, an orbiter passes above the Martian surface, detecting buried water ice through a radar instrument and large reflector antenna. Circling Mars at a higher altitude are three telecommunications orbiters with one shown relaying data back to Earth.

Credits: NASA

Under the statement, NASA, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced their intention to develop a mission plan and define their potential roles and responsibilities. If the concept moves forward, the mission could be ready to launch as early as 2026.

The international Mars Ice Mapper mission would detect the location, depth, spatial extent, and abundance of near-surface ice deposits, which would enable the science community to interpret a more detailed volatile history of Mars. The radar-carrying orbiter would also help identify properties of the dust, loose rocky material – known as regolith – and rock layers that might impact the ability to access ice.

The ice-mapping mission could help the agency identify potential science objectives for initial human missions to Mars, which are expected to be designed for about 30 days of exploration on the surface. For example, identifying and characterizing accessible water ice could lead to human-tended science, such as ice coring to support the search for life. Mars Ice Mapper also could provide a map of water-ice resources for later human missions with longer surface expeditions, as well as help meet exploration engineering constraints, such as avoidance of rock and terrain hazards. Mapping shallow water ice could also support supplemental high-value science objectives related to Martian climatology and geology.

“This innovative partnership model for Mars Ice Mapper combines our global experience and allows for cost sharing across the board to make this mission more feasible for all interested parties,” said Jim Watzin, NASA’s senior advisor for agency architectures and mission alignment. “Human and robotic exploration go hand in hand, with the latter helping pave the way for smarter, safer human missions farther into the solar system. Together, we can help prepare humanity for our next giant leap – the first human mission to Mars.”

As the mission concept evolves, there may be opportunities for other space agency and commercial partners to join the mission.

Beyond promoting scientific observations while the orbiter completes its reconnaissance work, the agency partners will explore mission-enabling rideshare opportunities as part of their next phase of study. All science data from the mission would be made available to the international science community for both planetary science and Mars reconnaissance.

This approach is similar to what NASA is doing at the Moon under the Artemis program – sending astronauts to lunar South Pole, where ice is trapped in the permanently shadowed regions of the pole.

Access to water ice would also be central to scientific investigations on the surface of Mars that are led by future human explorers. Such explorers may one day core, sample, and analyze the ice to better understand the record of climatic and geologic change on Mars and its astrobiological potential, which could be revealed through signs of preserved ancient microbial life or even the possibility of living organisms, if Mars ever harbored life.

Ice is also a critical natural resource that could eventually supply hydrogen and oxygen for fuel. These elements could also provide resources for backup life support, civil engineering, mining, manufacturing, and, eventually, agriculture on Mars. Transporting water from Earth to deep space is extremely costly, so a local resource is essential to sustainable surface exploration.

“In addition to supporting plans for future human missions to Mars, learning more about subsurface ice will bring significant opportunities for scientific discovery,” said Eric Ianson, NASA Planetary Science Division Deputy Director and Mars Exploration Program Director. “Mapping near-surface water ice would reveal an as-yet hidden part of the Martian hydrosphere and the layering above it, which can help uncover the history of environmental change on Mars and lead to our ability to answer fundamental questions about whether Mars was ever home to microbial life or still might be today.”

The Red Planet is providing great research return for robotic exploration and the search for ancient life in our solar system. This latest news comes ahead of the agency’s Perseverance rover landing on Mars, which is scheduled to take place on February 18, following a seven-month journey in space. NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) also recently announced they are moving forward with the Mars Sample Return mission.

Learn more about NASA’s Mars Exploration at:

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mars/main

https://www.nasa.gov/topics/moon-to-mars

Grey Hautaluoma / Alana Johnson
NASA Headquarters, Washington
202-358-0668 / 202-358-1501
grey.hautaluoma-1@nasa.gov / alana.r.johnson@nasa.gov

Last Updated: Feb 3, 2021

Editor: Tricia Talbert

Tags:  MarsSolar System

Go to the top

NASA: Expedition 64 JAXA 6 Month Challenge Campaign, Story Time From Space Willow The Water Bear Book, SpaceCast Weekly, Countdown to Mars, and Perseverance Arrives at Mars

NASA: Expedition 64 JAXA 6 Month Challenge Campaign, Story Time From Space Willow The Water Bear Book, SpaceCast Weekly, Countdown to Mars, and Perseverance Arrives at Mars

NASA: Expedition 64 JAXA 6 Month Challenge Campaign – January 28, 2021,

             Expedition 64 Story Time From Space Willow The Water Bear Book –   January 26, 2021,

             SpaceCast Weekly – January 29, 2021,

             Countdown to Mars: A Story of Perseverance, Sep 14, 2020,

             Perseverance Arrives at Mars: Feb. 18, 2021 (Mission Trailer), Dec 21, 2020, 

             NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

             Mars Science Laboratory and Its Payload Fairing and The Latest Images

Expedition 64 JAXA 6 Month Challenge Campaign – January 28, 2021

Jan 28, 2021  NASA Video

SPACE STATION CREW MEMBER CONDUCTS EDUCATIONAL CHALLENGE WITH JAPANESE

STUDENTS Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) answered questions about life and work on the outpost Jan. 28 submitted by Japanese students involved in a “6 Month Mission Challenge” educational activity. Noguchi arrived on the station in November aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft “Resilience” for a six-month mission of scientific research.

Expedition 64 Story Time From Space Willow The Water Bear Book – January 26, 2021   NASA Video

SPACE STATION CREW MEMBER PLAYS THE ROLE OF STORY TELLER Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Shannon Walker of NASA played the role of story teller Jan. 26 as she read the children’s book “Willow the Water Bear” to students back on Earth from the orbital outpost. The book reading event was part of an educational STEM and literacy project sponsored as a payload activity by the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Walker also answered questions about life and work on the complex submitted by students as part of the education

SpaceCast Weekly – January 29, 2021

Jan 29, 2021  NASA Video

SpaceCast Weekly is a NASA Television broadcast from the Johnson Space Center in Houston featuring stories about NASA’s work in human spaceflight, including the International Space Station and its crews and scientific research activities, and the development of Orion and the Space Launch System, the next generation American spacecraft being built to take humans farther into space than they’ve ever gone before. Video produced at the NASA Johnson Space Center

Countdown to Mars: A Story of Perseverance

Sep 14, 2020  NASA

“When you look at the team that put this robot together, and the team that put this launch vehicle together, that’s what they’ve done. They’ve persevered.” Go behind the scenes of our Perseverance Mars rover’s July 30, 2020 launch with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. On Feb. 18, 2021, the rover will land in Jezero Crater, Mars, where it will search for signs of ancient life.

Perseverance Arrives at Mars: Feb. 18, 2021 (Mission Trailer)

Dec 21, 2020  NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

After nearly 300 million miles (470 million km), NASA’s Perseverance rover completes its journey to Mars on Feb. 18, 2021. But, to reach the surface of the Red Planet, it has to survive the harrowing final phase known as Entry, Descent, and Landing.

Learn more: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020? Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

PIA15029: Mars Science Laboratory and Its Payload Fairing

       Original Caption Released with Image:

Preparations are under way to enclose NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory in

an Atlas V rocket payload fairing in this photograph from inside the Payload

Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The blocks on the interior of the fairing are components of the fairing acoustic

protection system, designed to protect the payload by dampening the sound

created by the rocket during liftoff. The fairing protects the spacecraft from the

impact of aerodynamic pressure and heating during ascent.

The spacecraft’s components include a car-sized rover, Curiosity, which has

10 science instruments designed to search for evidence about whether

Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including the chemical

ingredients for life.

Launch of the Mars Science Laboratory aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas

V rocket is planned for Nov. 25 from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape

Canaveral Air Force Station.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of

Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project

for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Launch management

is the responsibility of NASA’s Launch Services Program at the Kennedy

Space Center in Florida. The Atlas V launch service is provided by

United Launch Alliance, Denver, Colo.

Image Credit: NASA

Image Addition Date: 2011-11-10

PIA14758: Mars Science Laboratory Aeroshell with Curiosity Inside

Original Caption Released with Image:

At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, and the spacecraft’s descent stage have been enclosed inside the spacecraft’s aeroshell.  This image, taken Oct. 1, 2011, shows the aeroshell with its heat shield on top.  The heat shield and the spacecraft’s back shell together form the encapsulating aeroshell that will protect the rover from the intense heat that will be generated as the flight system descends through the Martian atmosphere.  The mission is on track for launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station during the period from Nov. 25 to Dec. 18, 2011.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology

in Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory mission for the NASA Science

Mission Directorate, Washington. This mission will land Curiosity on Mars in

August 2012. Researchers will use the tools on the rover to study whether the landing region has had environmental conditions favorable for supporting microbial life and favorable for preserving clues about whether life existed.

More information about Curiosity is at http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Image Addition Date: 2011-10-05

PIA14837: Curiosity While on Parachute, Artist’s Concept

                                   Original Caption Released with Image:

This is an artist’s concept of NASA’s Curiosity rover tucked inside the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft’s backshell while the spacecraft is descending on a parachute toward Mars. The parachute is attached to the top of the backshell. In the scene depicted here, the spacecraft’s heat shield has already been jettisoned.

The Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft is being prepared for launch during Nov. 25 to Dec. 18, 2011. Landing on Mars is in early August 2012. In a prime mission lasting one Martian year (nearly two Earth years) researchers will use the rover’s tools to study whether the landing region has had environmental conditions favorable for supporting microbial life and for preserving clues about whether life existed.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology,

Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for the NASA Science

Mission Directorate, Washington.

More information about Curiosity is at http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Image Addition Date: 2011-10-03

 

PIA14267:                             Special Delivery from Mars to Earth (Artist’s Concept)

                        Original Caption Released with Image:This artist’s concept of a proposed Mars sample return mission portrays the separation of an Earth entry vehicle, bearing a container of Martian rock samples, from the main spacecraft that would have carried it from Martian orbit nearly to Earth.

NASA and the European Space Agency are collaborating on proposals for a mission to gather samples of Martian rocks and bring them to Earth after 2020. This illustration depicts preliminary concepts, not finished design.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech 

Image Addition Date: 2011-06-20

                           

PIA14266: Rendezvous in Martian Orbit (Artist’s Concept)

                                                                    

Original Caption Released with Image:

This artist’s concept of a proposed Mars sample return mission portrays the capture of a collection of Martian samples by a spacecraft orbiting Mars. The samples would have been collected on Mars by a rover and lifted to orbit by an ascent vehicle. After this rendezvous, the orbiter would fire its main thruster to escape Mars orbit and begin a return trip to deliver the sample container to Earth.

NASA and the European Space Agency are collaborating on proposals for a mission

to gather samples of Martian rocks and bring them to Earth after 2020. This illustration

depicts preliminary concepts, not finished design.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Image Addition Date: 2011-06-20

 

PIA14265: Martian Samples Leaving Mars (Artist’s Concept)

                                     

Original Caption Released with Image:

This artist’s concept of a proposed Mars sample return mission portrays the launch of an ascent vehicle. The solar panels in the foreground are part of a rover. The rover would have delivered to the ascent vehicle a cache of Martian rock samples that would have been left on the surface by a previous sample-collection rover. The ascent vehicle would release its sample container in Martian orbit, to be retrieved by a spacecraft for carrying the samples to Earth.

NASA and the European Space Agency are collaborating on proposals for a mission to

gather samples of Martian rocks and bring them to Earth after 2020. This illustration

depicts preliminary concepts, not finished design.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


Image Addition Date:
2011-06-20

PIA14264: Landing on Mars for a Short Stay (Artist’s Concept)

                                        Original Caption Released with Image:

This artist’s concept of a proposed Mars sample return mission portrays a rocket-powered descent stage lowering a sample-retrieving rover and an ascent vehicle to the surface. The ascent vehicle is in the large cylinder, protecting it from the harsh Martian environment. The rover, with solar-panels in folded position, sits to the right of it. The ascent vehicle would receive samples of Martian rocks that are to be collected by a previous mission and retrieved by the rover. Then it would launch the samples into Martian orbit for a rendezvous with a spacecraft that would carry them to Earth.

NASA and the European Space Agency are collaborating on proposals for a mission

to gather samples of Martian rocks and bring them to Earth after 2020. This illustration

depicts preliminary concepts, not finished design.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Image Addition Date: 2011-06-20

 For more information, please visit the following links:

 https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/snt?start=0

 https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA14264

   PIA24390: Spring Sprouts on Mars

                                  Original Caption Released with Image:

The sun is rising in Mars’ Northern Hemisphere, and spring activity is starting as the seasonal polar cap begins to sublimate (going from ice directly to gas). A layer of dry ice covers the sand dunes in this image.

Gas jets sprout through the ice layer carrying dust and sand from the surface, showing up as dark fans. At this time in early Martian spring, the fans are visible between the sand dunes. The ground between the dunes is on the scale of tens of centimeters, and ice in places where the sun hits more directly will thin fastest, releasing the jets. Later, the ice over and around the dunes will rupture and more fans will appear on the dunes.

The map is projected here at a scale of 50 centimeters (19.7 inches) per pixel.

(The original image scale is 63.4 centimeters [25.0 inches] per pixel [with 2 x 2 binning]; objects on the order of 190 centimeters [74.8 inches] across are resolved.) North is up.

The University of Arizona, in Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., in Boulder, Colorado. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for

NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

           Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona


Image Addition Date: 2021-01-29

PIA24383: Stepping It Up in Arabia Terra

Original Caption Released with Image:

Several craters in Arabia Terra are filled with layered rock, often exposed in rounded mounds.

The bright layers are roughly the same thickness, giving a stair-step appearance.

The process that formed these sedimentary rocks is not yet well understood. They could have formed from sand or volcanic ash that was blown into the crater, or in water if the crater hosted a lake. One thing is certain, though: it wouldn’t be hard to get your 10,000 daily steps when going on a hike in beautiful Arabia Terra!

The map is projected here at a scale of 25 centimeters (9.8 inches) per pixel.

(The original image scale is 27.6 centimeters [10.9 inches] per pixel [with 1 x 1 binning]; objects on the order of 83 centimeters [32.7 inches] across are resolved.) North is up.

The University of Arizona, in Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace

& Technologies Corp., in Boulder, Colorado. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division

of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project

for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona


Image Addition Date: 2021-01-29

 PIA24382: Blast Waves and Dusty Landslides

              Original Caption Released with Image:

Meteorites hit Mars and create small craters like the one we’ve imaged here. Usually we spot these new craters in lower-resolution images from the Context Camera because the impact disturbs dust on the surface and creates a dark mark that’s much bigger than the crater.

This meteorite hit a dusty area and made a crater, but did something a little more special to the surrounding dust. We can see dozens of dark, dust-free, streaks on slopes surrounding the crater. These slope streaks form when dust slumps downhill and happen naturally on a regular basis.

In this case though, the impact and explosion that made the crater seems to have

set off many of these downhill slumps of dust simultaneously. This could have

happened from the explosion’s blast wave passing through the air or the shaking

of the ground that it caused.

The map is projected here at a scale of 25 centimeters (9.8 inches) per pixel.

(The original image scale is 31.2 centimeters [12.3 inches] per pixel [with 1 x 1 binning]; objects on the order of 93 centimeters [36.6 inches] across are resolved.) North is up.

This is a stereo pair with ESP_065360_1900.

The University of Arizona, in Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace

& Technologies Corp., in Boulder, Colorado. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division

of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for

NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona


Image Addition Date:
2021-01-29

PIA24378: Mars 2020 Camera and Microphone Location (Illustration)

                             Original Caption Released with Image:

This graphic shows the location of four cameras and a microphone on the spacecraft for NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance mission. These cameras will capture the entry, descent, and landing phase of the mission.

A division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory built and will manage operations of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover for the agency.

For more information about the mission, go to https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Image Addition Date: 2021-01-27

PIA24309: Exploring Majestic Jezero Crater (Illustration)

                                Original Caption Released with Image:

 An illustration of NASA’s Perseverance rover exploring inside Mars’ Jezero Crater.

The 28-mile-wide (45-kilometer-wide) crater is located on the western edge of

a flat plain called Isidis Planitia, which lies just north of the Martian equator.

NASA believes the ancient lake-delta system there is the best place for Perseverance, in its hunt for signs of past microscopic life, to find and collect promising rock and regolith (broken rock and dust) samples for a possible future return to Earth.  A key objective for Perseverance’s mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet’s geology and past climate, pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith.

Subsequent missions, currently under consideration by NASA in cooperation with

ESA (European Space Agency), would send spacecraft to Mars to collect these cached

samples from the surface and return them to Earth for in-depth analysis.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California built and manages

operations of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover for NASA.

For more information about the mission, go to https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Image Addition Date: 2021-01-27

 PIA24265: Perseverance’s Stages of Descent (Illustration)

                                    Original Caption Released with Image:

This illustration depicts the some of the major milestones NASA’s Perseverance

rover will go through during its 7-minute descent to the Martian surface on

Feb. 18, 2021. Hundreds of critical events must execute perfectly and exactly

on time for the rover to land safely.

Entry, Descent, and Landing, or EDL, begins when the spacecraft reaches

the top of the Martian atmosphere, traveling nearly 12,500 mph (20,000 kph).

It ends about seven minutes later, with Perseverance stationary on the

Martian surface. Perseverance handles everything on its own during this

process. It takes more than 11 minutes to get a radio signal back from Mars,

so by the time the mission team hears that the spacecraft has entered

the atmosphere, in reality, the rover is already on the ground.

A key objective for Perseverance’s mission on Mars is astrobiology,

including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will

characterize the planet’s geology and past climate, pave the way for human

exploration of the Red Planet, and be the first mission to collect and cache

Martian rock and regolith.

Subsequent missions, currently under consideration by NASA in cooperation

with ESA (European Space Agency), would send spacecraft to Mars to

collect these cached samples from the surface and return them to Earth

for in-depth analysis.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California built and

manages operations of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover for NASA.

For more information about the mission, go to: https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020.

Image Credit:  NASA/JPL-Caltech

Image Addition Date:  2021-01-27

 Go to the top